Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline and electric propulsion specialist magniX, last week announced the first flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.
The successful flight of the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver modified by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, took place on the Fraser River at Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in Richmond (Vancouver). The plane was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall. “Today, we made history,” he said and added: “I am incredibly proud of Harbour Air’s leadership role in re-defining safety and innovation in the aviation and seaplane industry.”
Earlier this year, Harbour Air announced its partnereship with magniX and the company’s intention to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. The magni500, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June, 2019, is a high-power-density electric propulsion system. MagniX and Harbour Air will now begin the certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of aircraft. Once the certification is complete, the rest of the fleet can be magnified with magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.